BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate has voted to freeze the state’s income tax rate at the current 5.15 percent while gradually increasing the earned income tax credit for low-income working families.

The Democratic-backed amendment, approved Tuesday on a 29-11 vote, was added to the state’s $38 billion state budget for the next fiscal year. It would still need the backing of the House.

Current state law allows the income tax rate to fall in small increments until it hits 5 percent, a level set by voters in a ballot question back in 2000.

The Senate amendment would expand the state’s earned income tax credit over three years from the current 15 percent to 22.5 percent of the federal earned income tax credit. Backers say it would eventually save the average low-income family about $500 per year.


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